12 February 2006
Show Day, Monterey
Was woken by the phone at 11am, with a friendly voice telling me that my meeting with Bono had been pushed back from noon till 3pm. Result!
Rolled over for another hour but found myself awake so staggered up. One of the many extraordinary things about road life is that its possible to exist in a state of almost complete ignorance of your surroundings or domestic arrangements. Being the start of a new leg and having been so intensely busy at the venue, I hadnt a clue about what hotel I was in or any travel arrangements. Usually you look for a piece of paper shoved under your door which tells you what to do and todays piece of paper informed me that Im going to Mexico City tonight (fancy that!) but, more crucially, that the hotel was serving 'complimentary brunch till 1pm'. Result!
It was about 12.30 so I pulled on some clothes and went to find the food. This I did, along with a couple of other members of our party, in a large, smart, busy, dining room laid out with a huge spread of food. It was perfect, so we piled our plates high and made the most of it. Having gorged ourselves, another member of our party arrived and looked puzzled. 'Arent you coming for breakfast in the bar with everyone else?'. Yes folks, we had just sat down and helped ourselves to a complete strangers wedding reception.
Later, down at the venue, everything seemed to be in order, pretty much like wed never been away. There was, however, one surprise which took the evening into unexpected territory. It was cold. In fact it was nearly freezing out there and from the minute the band hit the stage it was clear that, even though the audience was loving it, the chances of us achieving elevation were slim. The gig had its moments (Elevation being one of them) but another problem (though in many ways encouraging) is that here it seems the newer U2 material is far more well known than the older. The Boy songs didnt get anything like the usual recognition and my visionary insistence that we put Bad into the set created without doubt the low point of the evening.
My one smile came from seeing Selma Hayek in the audience. The encore section of the show begins with a set of 'one arm bandit' reels which spin around revealing the symbols from Achtung Baby with a mixture of political and cultural icons. For each of the shows on this part of the tour we have made a custom version of this piece, including famous faces from that country and the one for Mexico contains.Selma Hayek. She must have been surprised.
After the show we did a runner to Mexico City, where hopefully it might be a little warmer.